Glen Gulutzan isn't really on the same page with the media who cover the Dallas Stars.
Most of those outlets wrote something to the effect of "The Dallas Stars slid into their old, penalty-filled ways in Wednesday's 4-1 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers.
Gulutzan, however, isn't sure how that became the story, as Mike Heika details here in a DallasNews.com blog.
The real meat of the story comes in these couple grafs. The history referenced the Gulutzan quote about his team reacting poorly to officiating earlier this season, and he is somewhat agreeing to the idea that last night was not necessarily the ideal way to react to a poorly called game.
And when that history was explained to Gulutzan, he kind of agreed. Kind of, because he said the Stars were not affected by the poor officiating on Wednesday. Yes, they took a couple of misconduct penalties, but the minor penalties they took that resulted in five Philly power plays were all hard-working plays and were probably not penalties. In other words, the Stars didn't react with frustration fouls.
``You're going to have games where you have to kill five, that's just the way it goes,'' Gulutzan said. ``I didn't think that the way we played discipline-wise warranted the penalties to be lopsided. They were discretionary calls that didn't go our way.''
And he does have a point. In general, the Stars didn't devolve into stupid frustration fouls (other than Sheldon Souray's little slash), though the yapping certainly took a big jump in the wrong direction.
But honestly, my biggest issue wasn't with the calls or non calls, though those certainly could have been much improved for both sides. Refs, like any human, have bad nights and sometimes just can't seem to get it right. My biggest issue with the officiating, and what I suspect general manager Joe Nieuwendyk talked to the league about, was the lack of game control.
The officials shot themselves in the foot by making a poor tonesetter call early and not following that up with quick matching roughings on a post-whistle scrum. They waited entirely too long to try and take control of the game and never really succeeded at doing so, and they were lucky none of the frustration boiled over into serious, injury-causing penalties or fights. Think of what happened at the end of a game against the Anaheim Ducks several years ago, when Steve Ott and his broken hand was jumped by Travis Moen at the buzzer. That's what last night's game was at risk for.
- If the Stars goalie situation is something that keeps you up at night, mark your calendars for Dec. 29 against the Columbus Blue Jackets. That's the night that Kari Lethonen is tentatively scheduled to make his return from a groin injury. Also, he has a new toy that he broke out on the bench. I wish there were video of that. [DallasNews.com]
- There will be 1.21 billion top 10 of 2011 lists next week (I counted). Mark Stepneski just got his in early. [ESPN Dallas]
- In a story that completely escaped my notice yesterday, apparently Ross Perot, Jr., was planning to lock AAC customers out of many of the usual pre-paid parking spots during a court dispute. However, a court order means the parking situation will remain normal. [Sacramento Bee]
- The host website was down for maintenance while I was writing this blog, so I can't tell you what exactly Todd has cooked up for us this week. But I'm sure it will make you laugh. [Thursday Morning Cupcheck]
- I'm shocked, shocked I tell you, that Niklas Kronwall of the Detroit Red Wings wasn't suspended or even fined for this hit on Ryan Kesler, which is identical in every way to Mark Fistric's hit that got him suspended three games except Kesler didn't hit his head on the ice. [Detroit Free Press]
- Ken Hitchcock has made a real effort to learn how to connect with this generation of players. Just don't expect him to join Twitter any time soon. [ESPN.com]
- Meet the enemy, part the first: Jeff Carter had a hat trick for the Columbus Blue Jackets, but it was Martin Erat who ended up the hero, as his breakaway goal with eight seconds left gave the Nashville Predators a 6-5 win. [The Tennessean]
- Meet the enemy, part the second: Our friends at On The Forecheck have a nice take on the transition from the AHL to the NHL that a coach goes through. [On The Forecheck]
- Around the Pacific Division: Of course the only game in the division on Thursday went to the extra frame, where everyone's favorite Dustin Brown score the shootout winner in a 3-2 Los Angeles Kings victory over the Anaheim Ducks. [Los Angeles Times]
- I'm sorry, I know you all really want post-practice interview video. But I spent all yesterday decorating my mom's house for Christmas, and this Chicago Blackhawks video just hit the right spot. I would post a funny Stars holiday-themed video if it was available. And yes, Stars, that's a hint. Please take it. If Captain Serious can do it, so can you.